The State of Illinois has enacted strict firearm laws with the intention of protecting the public. If you are unaware of the extent of these laws, you could find yourself in deep trouble if you carry a handgun, rifle, or other firearm. In Illinois, you cannot legally possess or purchase firearms without a FOID (Firearm Owner Identification) card, issued after a background check by the Illinois State Police. Even with a FOID card, it is possible to run afoul of Illinois' strict gun laws, such as by carrying a gun in your vehicle without having it properly encased. This is just one way to violate Illinois' Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) law.
Even a UUW violation charged as a misdemeanor is punishable by fines of up to $2,500 and a year in the county jail. The vast majority of UUW violations are felonies, and carry penalties of one to three years in state prison or more. Certain circumstances, like having a gun uncased, loaded, and ready to use, or being a member of a street gang, can aggravate (increase) the charge.
Firearm offenses are serious: in addition to fines and jail time, a UUW conviction remains on your record, visible to employers, colleges, and anyone who performs a background check on you. You may commit a firearm crime without really understanding that you are doing so, but that won't stop the fallout from a conviction from following you around for years.
Beuke & Beuke understands what's at stake when you're facing a weapons charge, and how to protect you. We represent clients on charges such as:
- Unlawful use of a weapon
- Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon
- Unlawful use of a weapon by a felon
- Aggravated assault with a weapon
- Aggravated discharge of a firearm
- Defacing a weapon (removing serial number)
- Improperly modifying a weapon
Attorneys Rick Beuke and Peter Beuke concentrate their practice in criminal defense. They have worked as prosecutors and know how to analyze a case from all sides. When you're facing a UUW or other firearm charge your freedom is at risk. A strong defense is your best investment. If you have been charged, or believe you may be, don't delay in getting help. Contact Beuke & Beuke immediately so that we can get to work protecting your rights and your future.